Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

The overhyped housing recovery

Commentary: It's too soon to call it a comeback

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Markets are quiet, the volatility gone, waiting for something to happen. It's not calm, and plenty tense. There is a lot happening but not concluding. The overriding near-term influence: The "Battle of 1370." What, Europe again? The English and French refighting some unpleasantness between Crecy and Agincourt? Nah. Every stock trader on the planet is mesmerized by the "battle" in the Standard & Poor's 500 index: Will the index top 1,370? Go above it, and stocks should rocket, if only because so many buy the chart. One problem: The S&P 500 since mid-December has already run straight from 1,200, and been stuck between 1,345 and 1,365 for three weeks. It's as vulnerable on the downside as it is likely to explode upward. Fed-managed long-term rates no longer react to anything: the 10-year Treasury note since the end of October has traded 90 percent of the time between 1.9 percent and 2.05 percent. Europe has pulled back from another Greek brink, b...